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Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading VIII

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Question #1:

Can you please offer your opinion as to why the following books were removed from the Old Testament: 1 and 2 Maccabees, Judith, Tobit, Baruch, Sirach and Wisdom, and additions to the books of Esther and Daniel? Thank you.

Response #1:

Good to make your acquaintance.

I can assure you that no books have ever been "removed" from either testament – no genuinely inspired books meant by God to be part of His Bible, that is.

The books you mentioned are know as "the Apocrypha" and do occur in the Roman Catholic versions of the Bible, but they are not "part of the Bible" in the sense of being God's Word. There have been very many non-canonical works produced over the centuries which some have attempted to include in the canon of scripture, but reading any of them is sufficient for most believers in Jesus Christ to be able to affirm that they are not in fact the Word of God.

So in most English Bibles you will likely not find these books – not because they have been "removed", but because they never belonged there in the first place.

Here are a few links which may be of help in filling in the details:

The Canon of Scripture

Is There Anything of Value in the Apocrypha?

In Jesus Christ our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Dear Bob,

While I agree with you that our redemption only comes (and could only come) at the second advent, I still believe there are many lessons to be learned from Esther. While I would be loath to submit as she did, I think there are lessons to be learned from that. Many Hamans are out there today, or so it would seem, and dealing with them will be difficult. Esther seems to be a guide through the nonsense.

I've only started Esther again, so this is all from memory. But, do you think I'm off base on this? I firmly believe all scripture is there for guidance and, given the coming difficulties, I believe I need to understand more because I've never looked at Esther that way. Have I missed the point?

Also, the KJV and NIV differ on the name of the king. Ahasuerus in KJV and Xerxes in NIIV. Which is correct?

Yours in our Lord,

Response #2:

Esther is a "different" book. God is not mentioned therein. Esther does ask for prayer and fasting, but mostly people seem to be trying to take care of themselves . . . and then it all works out. No doubt God is the One who worked it out, but the people described don't seem to get that (on any sort of deep level, at least). So I would say that the book is reflective of things today in that God has been protecting the lukewarm Christians in this country without them "getting it" or particularly appreciating it. Don't know how much longer that will go on. I don't look for Babylon to be delivered. Scripture says it's going to be destroyed.

Here are some links on the book of Esther:

Aspects of Esther

More on Esther

As to the spelling, Xerxes is a (correct) translation/interpretation of "Ahasuerus", and Ahasuerus is a transliteration of what is found in the Hebrew.

Hope you are keeping well down there!

New semester has its "issues", but the Lord is seeing me through.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hello Bob,

Do you see any connection with Job? Do we know the author of Esther? Purim is an interesting holiday as celebrated today. My interest in Esther was much more mundane and centered on Haman's conniving and Esther's response.

So far, everything here has been good. I rarely leave the place except for a brief run to the grocery or rarely, the hardware store. Haven't had a cold or flu since I moved out here. (So "social distancing" may have some benefits.) Seed starting time will begin in a month and I'm looking forward to it. I also have some young apple trees I need to transplant.

Sorry to hear about your semester. I hope everything works out to your satisfaction. Stay well and safe (and online -- which, judging from recent events, may be challenging.)

Yours in our Lord,

Response #3:

Esther is the most obscure and controversial book (in terms of canonicity) in the OT. Here's what I say about it in BB 7:

Esther is a special case, being the book most often queried as to its canonicity (God is never mentioned therein, for example, except obliquely at Est.4:14); but that book gives a very useful picture of the dynamics of the Jewish people in a status quo of being divorced from any great interest in the truth, so that anonymous authorship is no mark against it.

We're thinking about seeds already too – although planting before "Derby" is always a bad idea. In this border state our weather can be north or south, no telling.

Thanks, but things will work out. I have a long weekend after getting through tomorrow (and it is needful). After my short next week, all of my Fridays are "remote" except for my upper level Latin class which meets on Fridays only. So I'm sure I can bumble through – though I'm already ready for summer break!

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Good morning Dr Luginbill,

It is my observation that Job tends to be untouched in the Bible by many teachers of it. Or maybe I just haven't run into those ones who do teach it. The very little I have heard about it is that Job's friends were in the wrong, and Job 'spoke right'. Actually I think the Lord says something like this. Anyway, what exactly did his friends say wrong-can you tell me in brief? I am going through it now.

Also, what do you make of Job 9:23, of Job saying this about God? It doesn't seem right. But maybe, since it is a quote in the English, he is quoting something he said in his past as a statement and not that he is stating what is in the quote presently (at that moment of speaking) as a fact. What do you think?

How is your health? Please take care,

Response #4:

Job said a lot of things in this conversation that he later no doubt regretted – and God called him out for it too:

"Who is this who darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me."
Job 38:2-3 NKJV

And Job realized he was wrong (cf. Job 42:1-6):

“Behold, I am vile;
What shall I answer You?
I lay my hand over my mouth.
Once I have spoken, but I will not answer;
Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.”
Job 40:4-5 NKJV

But most of what Job had said was right, and most of what his friends had said while right was wrongly applied, which leads to our Lord's rebuke of them:

And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has."
Job 42:7 NKJV

We believers all sin and all make mistakes – under a whole lot LESS pressure than Job had to deal with. We can all be glad that we are as you remember righteous in God's eyes – through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom.3:24; 3:28; 4:1ff.; 5:1; 5:9; 8:30; 1Cor.6:11; Gal.2:16-17; 3:24).

In our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Hey again Bob,

I actually want to ask you for some scriptural insight. I am finishing up reading Job. I have read it once quickly in the past and have generally been familiar with the moral of the story for some time. I have also read your email exchanges on the topic in the past. Anyway, I have some questions I'm wrestling with so I'll start by telling you what I got from it and then what my concerns are.

As I read this book I found that it is jam packed with wisdom and encouragement. I really got a lot of comfort from many of the words in this book, particularly from Jobs friends. I know what they said to be true because I can just tell in my heart that these things are of God, also I can think of other places where these statements are paralleled in things God has done, but also I know it makes sense as I've read how you explain that "their words were true but misapplied", and also how Paul quotes Jobs friend also, and I did a search and found that that quote is found nowhere else in the Bible (about catching the crafty). So basically as I carefully read through this I think I was really able to pick up on where things were misapplied on both ends (Job and his friends).

What I'm wrestling with is the Lords choice of wording when he says "you have not spoken what is right of me as my servant Job has". This really confuses me because God doesn't say "you have misapplied my word" or "you have not dealt rightly with Job", but he very clearly says "you have not spoken what is right of me"... Again I know you've explained that the application was off and this is what I myself picked up reading through the book, but why did God choose to say precisely that they did not speak what was right of Him? This really makes it seem like they were not speaking accurately of Gods ways, yet I don't really think that's true.

Please help me with any insight on this matter.

Thank you.

In Christ

Response #5:

The key word in Job 42:7 is נְכוֹנָה nechochah, and it has to do with "right" but in the sense of solidity. If we say right things on a shaky foundation, that is a problem. It is much better to be solid in our foundation, even if some of what we say may be incorrect. So from one point of view we can see Job on the one hand and his friends on the other as similar: saying many true things but misapplying and misunderstanding critical things as well. But from the more important godly point of view, Job is proceeding from a solid foundation of truth from which after being aggravated he is tempted to say some things he shouldn't have – and in his defense we can point out that no one ever had to suffer like him before that time, and that it would have taken a great deal of knowledge and faith to intuit anything like what the true back-story was and to trust the plan of God in the face of such suffering (which he in fact did) and in the face of the reproaches of his family and friends (where he lost his temper).

On the other hand, from the godly point of view, Job's friends represent the reverse principle: they have a lot of knowledge and most of that knowledge is true, but their personal foundation is not nearly as solid as Job's and so they are quick (even eager?) to blame him for his suffering. What is worse than taking the truth and using it for ill, even for evil? Not much. So while from a philosophical point of view one might make the mistake of thinking the two cases are similar, from God's point of view it's a question of night and day. Job spoke what was right (even if not perfectly); his friends spoke what was wrong (even if much of what they said was technically correct in the abstract):

And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has."
Job 42:7 NKJV

Thus Job by his actions and words glorified the Lord by evidencing His justice; but his friends furthered the satanic lie that God is arbitrary in what He does.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Thank you Bob,

I don't see how Jobs friends portrayed God as arbitrary in that they did claim there was a reason for Gods doings, only they wrongly accused Job?

Also again, I get what you're saying and agree I'm just really struggling with the choice words of the Lord. I'm going to pray and re-read this last section, but again, He did not say "you have not spoken what is right" rather "you have not spoken what is right of me". This just throws me off.

In Christ

Response #6:

By wrongly accusing Job they were wrongly accusing God by default. It's as if someone called an apostle of God an agent of the devil; it's like blaspheming the Holy Spirit. This sort of wrong thinking will be a commonplace in times to come:

"Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service."
John 16:2b NKJV

Happy new year!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hello Doctor!

I hope you are having a pleasant weekend. I was wondering if you would comment on the following. A Mormon trying to show evidence that the BoM stuff really happened has been posting things by Mormon scholars who are trying to show that the Mesoamerican ruins of the Mayans and others, their languages, writings (with the Mayans), etc. are evidence that the BoM actually happened. I think it is all a load of fertilizer, myself, and proves nothing. For instance, the people in the Book of Mormon made war against others all over the place, building fortifications in the process. Well, Mesoamericans made war against each other and also built fortifications. Ergo, the BoM is true.

One bit of background information: Joseph Smith published the first version of the Book of Mormon in 1830. It was loaded with bad English grammar, like double negatives and verbs that didn't agree with the subject ("They was...."). Or using the wrong word. And putting "a" in front of verb forms like "journeying" to make "a-journying".

So, this Mormon author proclaims that the way something was originally written in the 1830 edition is a Hebraism and proof that the BoM was written by Jews from the old country:

During the years 1968-71, [John A. Tvedtnes] taught Hebrew at the University of Utah. My practice was to ask new students to respond to a questionnaire, giving some idea of their interests and linguistic background. One student wrote that she wanted to study Hebrew in order to prove the Book of Mormon was a fraud. She approached me after class to explain.

When I inquired why she felt the Book of Mormon was fraudulent, she stated that it was full of errors. I asked for an example. She drew my attention to Alma 46:19,where we read, "When Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent part of his garment in the air." She noted that in the 1830 edition, this read simply "waving the rent of his garment." In English, the rent is the hole in the garment, not the piece torn out of the garment. Therefore, Moroni could not have waved it. This was an error ,she contended and adding the "part" later was mere deception.

This was my first introduction to variations in different editions of the Book of Mormon. Without a Hebrew background, I might have been bothered by it. But the explanation was clear when I considered how Mormon would have written that sentence. Hebrew does not have to add the word part to a verbal substantive like rent as English requires. Thus, broken in Hebrew can refer to a broken thing or a broken part, while new can refer to a new thing. In the verse the student cited, rent would mean rent thing or rent part. Thus, the "error" she saw as evidence of fraud was really a Hebraism that was evidence for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

Significantly, the first (1830) edition of the Book of Mormon contains many more Hebraisms than later editions. Later editions, especially in 1837,1840, and 1876,were edited to improve the English in areas where the text appeared to be awkward. Unfortunately, this destroyed some of the evidence for a Hebrew original

Digging into the Book of Mormon: Our Changing Understanding of Ancient America and Its Scripture By John L. Sorenson

I told this poster that I could take a shirt of my husband's with a huge hole in it, and wave the hole (or rent) at him and say "Look at the big hole! We need to discard the shirt!" So, I said this does NOT prove that the BoM is true.

Anyway, what do you think of this "proof"? About Hebrew?

Thanks and God bless you.

Response #7:

People often claim "Hebraisms" in NT Greek as well. Sometimes that may be true, and it is possible to see different ways that uniquely Hebrew phrases are translated into Greek . . . WHEN we have the Hebrew original being translated (i.e., in a direct quotation from the Hebrew Bible). But to say some phrase in English is reflecting a Hebraism requires us to believe that it is translating Hebrew in the first place. That is only possible in a quotation – or if we have the original. Otherwise, that is just rife speculation, whatever two languages we are talking about (obviously). So while it's impossible to prove that the BoM could not have been translated from Hebrew (or Swahili) by analyzing the English, it's also not possible to prove from the English diction that it has been translated from Hebrew . . . or not just made up out of thin air.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Thank you so much my friend!

She will really appreciate it!

Just begun studying Ecclesiastes for the first time and really enjoying it!

My father's football team suffered a very bad humiliating defeat tonight by my sister's boyfriend's much smaller football team. So the words "vanity, vanity all is vanity" has never been more apt!

In Him, where there is eternal joy and abundant purpose!

Response #8:

You're most welcome.

Yes, Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books. It does help to be reminded that "all of this" is absolutely pointless – absent faith in Christ and our eternal reward.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9: 

Hi Bob,

What is the spiritual benefit (if any) of reading the genealogies listed in the Bible? I love the Bible but do not like reading the genealogies or listings of names.

Also, would you say that the fact that Christ resurrected after three days is a prophecy of the Church age and then His coming back on the third day (the start of the millennium)? I have seen you use Hosea 6:2 but I wanted to be clear on the additional application.

In our Lord,

Response #9: 

Everything in the Bible is important and is there for a reason – even if sometimes we might not "see it" initially. I'm particularly challenged by architectural descriptions since I personally have a very hard time visualizing such things, so the chapters in Ezekiel dealing with the new temple are difficult for me to get through. But they represent the perfection of the millennial reign of Christ.

In terms of genealogies, the ones relating to Christ are obviously important. Also, without the one in Genesis chapter five I would never have been able to put together the details for the seven millennial days. And we also have to remember that each of these names represent real people, believers, mostly. Having one's name in the holy scriptures is quite something – and we all have our own names written in the book of life (happy about that!).

In terms of the three days, I do think that is a fine application and a good analogy: resurrection on the third day – and that is when the resurrection of the Church takes place as well: directly after its two millennial days are completed. We are close! Marana Tha!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Dear Bob:

Is the Septuagint rendering of this passage justified?

"Rejoice, O heavens, with Him, *[and let all God’s angels worship Him]. Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His children. He will take vengeance on His adversaries and repay those who hate Him; He will cleanse His land and His people."
Deuteronomy 32:43

Did Hebrews 1:6 Quote from this passage? If so why is the bracketed part missing from the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible?

God bless

Response #10:

If you'll check Psalm 97:7 in the LXX version, you'll see that it is identical to the quotation in Hebrews; that is the source of the quote in the book of Hebrews, not the Hebrew text of Deuteronomy 32:43 (where even the LXX's Greek is not identical to what is found in Hebrews).

So the LXX has expanded the passage in Deuteronomy (by no means a unique development as this happens often enough in other places), but Paul in Hebrews is quoting from Psalm 97:7, not Deuteronomy as is commonly wrongly supposed.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Dear Robert:

This passage was also present in the Dead Sea Scroll 4Q44 fragment. Which appears to predate the Masoretic.


Perhaps a copyist error excluded this reading?

The Dead Sea Scrolls not only had this reading. But also had the "Divided according to the No. of the Sons of God" in place of the "Divided according to the no. of the Sons of Israel" In Deuteronomy 32:8

God Bless

Response #11:

This is a common misunderstanding, namely, assuming that the Qumran texts are somehow better or reflect an earlier version of the text. I can assure you that the first assumption is mere supposition and is completely untrue, and that the second one is mostly not the case when there are differences (and when it is true it is usually of very small importance).

All manuscripts are copies of other mss. which eventually go back to the original exemplar (none of which survive, of course, for any ancient mss.). The fact that a particular ms. is early does not mean it is also good and accurate. We do want all the evidence we can get, but it all has to be properly evaluated.

Scholars have been in love with the Qumran texts since their discovery, and there is a definite (unjustified) prejudice in behalf of those documents. The bottom line is that the Qumran texts reflect an inferior version of the text, cheaply and inaccurately reproduced for the most part – just as one would expect coming from a sect living in the desert, after all.

Congregations within Israel have always taken pains to have high quality texts of the Torah and the rest of the OT, and that is a tradition which goes back unbroken to our Lord's day throughout the diaspora as well. The same cannot be said for the Qumran community, but these texts do show us that there were popular, cheap reproductions made for wider dispersal. Think of the Q texts as the samizdat version – nice to have if that is all you can afford, but not up to par with the better synagogue versions. The LXX was, similarly, a popular translation – not the only one (there was also the trifaria varietas of Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus); for that reason, i.e., the fact that it was very widely available (as we know also from the NT's translations of it), means that it is much more likely that the Qumran scrolls were assimilated to the LXX version (rather than reflecting readings of an "older" version of the original).

See also the link: "Older isn't necessarily better" (it will also lead to others).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

I enjoyed these postings today. Do you think sometimes we can overcomplicate verses in the Bible when they're actually very simple? They say what they mean and that's it.

Your answers are always very clear and easy to understand - thanks, Bob!

In Jesus

Response #12:


You are certainly correct about "over-complicating" things in terms of biblical interpretation. That is what most scholarly commentaries do – believe me, I know about it all too well. The person to whom I'm responding in all of the emails posted is a bit obsessive in his devotion to these materials. There are countless other Q/As I could have posted which are so much into the minutiae as to have no spiritual benefit in me sharing them broadly at all.

Thanks for your encouragement, my friend! It means a lot.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hi Bob,

The other countless Q/As must have kept you busy! I'm sure there's also a danger of spending too much time on tiny details that aren't as important as other areas of scripture. I don't really use Bible commentaries much because I don't always trust them. I'm very wary about who I trust and that's why I stick with you!

[omitted] It's a massive test of my patience I can tell you! But I'm trying to stay calm in the Spirit and pray this stage of it through. I'm praying for wisdom and I know you're praying for me too and I'm very thankful to you for that.

Keeping you in mine too!

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #13:

My problem with most scholarly commentaries is that they always seem to miss whatever spiritual point the verse is making – or if it's so obvious that even THEY can't miss it, they cloud it up with flotsam and jetsam. My problem with most non-scholarly commentaries is that they don't get down to the basics of what the verse/passage really says/means in the original language so that they often get the interpretation wrong – or if it's so obvious that even THEY can't miss it, they foul it up with illustrations and stories that are beside the point.

In my view, and in the approach I've tried to adhere to, first, one needs to figure out "What does it actually say?", second, "What does that actually mean?", and third, "How does that fit in with the rest of the Bible – so that I may incorporate this truth into my walk with the Lord?"

In terms of both types of commentaries, scholarly and devotional, it's usually the case that neither a deep understanding of what the Bible says and means as a whole nor a personally close walk with the Lord on the part of the authors is generally evident from what they write. So in most cases, commentaries amount to "the blind leading the blind". I think of them as Jerome thought about the Apocrypha, namely, seeking nuggets of gold in a sea of mud. Not that there aren't some rare exceptions that aren't terrible. But I've rarely seen or read a commentary that I thought might actually contribute in a serious way to anyone's spiritual growth.

I'll keep the family situation in my prayers for you. For wisdom as well as for patience.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hello--I have a question for you: you know this bible verse: "So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.” (Matthew 27:7-10)"

I thought this prophecy was in Zechariah, not Jeremiah. Footnotes have Jer. 19:1-13; 32:6-9, as well as Zech. 11:12-13. But the wording in the Jeremiah verses are nothing like the ones in Matthew. Can you please explain, when you get the chance? Thanks.

Response #14:

For economy's sake, when a passage is a compilation of more than one quote, it was apparently the rule for writers of scripture to attribute the quote to the "more important" or "greater" or at least "longer" book (as in Mark attributing Mk.1:2-3 to Isaiah without any mention of Malachi). Otherwise they would have needed footnotes and a lot of unwieldy parenthetical explanations (that's my job!).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Thanks! That is what our People's commentary also said, and that the more prominent prophet was named. I wanted to double-check.

Response #15:

I have to give the NIV Study Bible credit here for the Mark reference in the previous response.

Question #16:

Hello Dr. Luginbil,

This morning in our Bible Study, my wife discovered something that puzzled her and when I read these verses it also puzzled me.

We looked at Matthew 10:32-33, and it says something totally different than Luke 12:8-9.

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 10:32-33

Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
Luke 12:8-9

Her question was: why would Jesus say He would confess us before angels of God, or deny us before the angels of God?

As you know, Matthew 1:32-33 says before God, not angels. That just does not sound correct? Thanks always for your great help in understanding these two Gospels.

My wonderful German wife found this. We compare the German with the English. She reads in German, and I read in English while we discuss the words used in both. It helps a lot.

Blessings to you,

Your friend,

Response #16:

Well, the "angels of God" stand before the Father, so I would say that while the texts are different, they do mean essentially the same thing: acknowledgment of those who believe; rejection of those who do not.

If I taught this principle a hundred times, I might vary the way I said it from time to time – as long as it meant the same thing. And here it does. Our Lord's earthly ministry lasted three and a half years. He no doubt said many of these things very many times in all the different places and venues He taught the truth throughout that long ministry. So since what this means is virtually identical in both cases, I wouldn't have a problem citing either or both passages for the same point.

It certainly is true that the more we read the scriptures the more we see and realize!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:


I noticed that you mentioned changes between the 2011 and the 1984 NIV and the "scrubbing from history" (or maybe that should be HERstory- sorry couldn't resist..)

I am so glad that I managed to buy a hard copy of it when I did, thanks for the recommendation!
Maybe in view of this, this information may be of use to you?


I've noticed that the verse of God saying that He hates divorce is now conspicuously absent! Makes you wonder if they will keep on doing this as we get closer and closer to the tribulation?

Hope you are well. I'm still going through severe testing right now and it has been very hard but I am keeping on keeping on!

In Jesus,

Response #17:

Yes, there are still plenty of used copies of the "good NIV" about. I bought one recently, supposedly in "good condition" and found a lot of underlining in the Psalms and some of the NT (disappointing).

Thanks for the link. This would give anyone a headache trying to read through it all, but it makes the point that there have been a lot of changes. I don't think it's a question so much of "removing words" or "adding words" but of translating passages differently. Some passages were left as is; some were completely reworked – and not just for PC reasons. They probably should have just started over with the NNIV (the "new" NIV); as it is we have a secret "RNIV".

Malachi 2:16 is actually still there; treated at the link; but it is altered beyond recognition (no doubt for PC reasons).

I'm sorry to hear that the pressure continues, my friend, but happy to hear that you are bearing up. Good for you! God gets us through all troubles, sooner or later, one way or another . . . as long as we hold tight to Him.

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Thanks Bob,

I see that it says the "Lord hates divorce" in the footnotes but not in the main body of the text.
I thought it an important verse as it makes it emphatic and unequivocal that God hates divorce but instead it changes the first verse not to being "God hates divorce" but that a "man hates his wife when he divorces" which is two separate things. We know that God hates hatred so we can put two and two together from that but the "God hates divorce" verse removes any doubt what God's position is.

You are able to say though what is in the original manuscripts whether it says that "God hates divorce" in that verse or not. I remember someone quoting that verse to me as a baby Christian ("I hate divorce") and the force of it blew me down and if I was wearing a hat it would be in the next county! I remember saying to myself "wow" you don't get any clearer and emphatic than that! Please tell me whether that is actually there or not?

It's interesting in the following verse, I am used to reading KJV now and my Bible says "for one covereth violence with his garment" whereas many other translations have "covers his garment with violence".

It may seem little but isn't this two separate things? If I had a guest round and I noticed coffee grounds on the table, I might lay the table cloth over them to hide them and disguise my lack of tidiness. If later on however I wasn't concentrating on the coffee pot and I then spilt grounds over the cloth as a consequence of my lack of attention then this would be two different actions. 1) grounds UNDER the cloth deliberately concealed 2) cloth COVERED OVER with the grounds due to my inattentiveness.

Covering violence and being covered with violence is two separate things. The first is a deliberate act of concealment whereas the second is a consequence rather than a direct action.

It makes me realise that language is such that you can use the exact same words in a sentence but by rearranging the order it is given a whole other meaning. Sometimes this even has an inverse meaning and at other times it doesn't work at all! (A bit like putting a cart before a horse.)

Fascinating! I would love to study Greek and Hebrew but I don't know if I would be able to do enough in time given how little time there is left!

Thanks for your prayers! You are always in mine!

I have been letting the hustle and bustle muscle my Bible studies out so I am having a few dedicated study days at the moment and I am already seeing my deliverance happen. (From my heavy mood) Ideally I will be able to have my spiritual and physical commitments fulfilled bit by bit each day and that is what I am working at: a good balance.

In Jesus,

Response #18:

This is a very difficult verse to translate, and, while I don't agree with the way many translators have gone, as someone who does translation I do "see what they did" in most cases, and also understand "why", even if I don't agree. It's not a question of translating different texts here (at least the consonantal one); it's a question of making sense of the same text.

Here is how I would translate the verse:

"I hate sending away (i.e., divorce)", says the Lord God of Israel, "and [I hate] a man covering himself with outrageous wrong-doing (i.e., divorcing wrongly) as if he were [just] putting on his garments. So have a care for your spirits, and do not act treacherously [in this]".
Malachi 2:16

This is a relatively "literal" hewing to the basic meaning, although I've expanded it here a bit for clarity's sake. The "covering" part explains and expands the divorce part: it shows what wrongful divorce essentially amounts to. The "sending away" and the "covering" are clearly parallel; they are both infinitive absolutes (so that they have to be expanded in order to be translated into English), and the second one is improperly pointed in the Masoretic text.

Hope that's not too technical! The bottom line is that, yes, this is an uncomfortable verse for those who want to have no restrictions on divorce, but it should be pointed out that our Lord says the exact same thing in the gospels, reprimanding the Pharisees for wrongfully dismissing their first wives only in order to "trade up". That is "violent wrong-doing", especially in a society where women would be in dire straits and with potentially no way to support themselves if treated in such a fashion.

So one more strike against the new NIV.

Good to hear that you are fired up for the truth! And thanks so much for those prayers!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19: 

Dear Bob,

First thought spawned by the discussion of translation corruption: One of the main reason I trust books more than what I read on the web is that books that sit on your selves don't change. They can be proven or refuted. Information on the web can be changed in real time. In light of that, and as an ex systems administrator, I would urge you to back up your writings and store them at home. I'm sure your hosting company is doing it on a regular basis, (and verifying, I hope!) but what you keep in your possession, off your computer, is secure. Don't rely on the backups your hosting company makes completely.

One of my last contracts was to recover a failed database server for a large company. The previous contractor never, apparently, verified his backups, so it was crucial to recover the machine. It was impossible and the company closed down the division shortly after. So check your backups at least once a year. Magnetic media eventually degrades. How soon depends on the environment. Paper is the best backup.

Second though on translation corruption -- a question actually: Has the NKJV been monkeyed with like the various NIV iterations? I like the authorized KJV but sometimes would like to check against the NKJV. I have the 1985 NIV and checking between the two has been most helpful.

Yours in our Lord Jesus,

Response #19: 

I have everything both here on my PC and also on the server (in various formats both places). I also have the texts downloaded to a memory stick (your email jogged me to update that this morning).

I haven't noticed any major changes in the NKJV. It actually takes a lot of admin effort and no little expenditure of money to "monkey" with anything as large as a translation of the Bible which is physically published in traditional book format. The NASB recently did a new release (distinguishing now between "NASB20" and "NASB95"; there was an older one as well), but not for PC reasons (I give the revision mixed reviews: it made some things better; some things worse from what I have seen so far).

Hang in there, my friend. God has this all in hand.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:


I'm not sure how to put this so here it goes hope it makes sense. Thank you in advance

What books go together? For example, if Daniel, Isaiah and revelation go together. Because they talk about the same things or similar.

I would like to know about the rest of the bible how it all fits together

Thank you n God bless you

Response #20:

Good to make your acquaintance.

Each book of the Bible is unique. Sometimes people do group them for various reasons, but it is important to remember that these are largely traditional distinctions and should not influence anyone's interpretation of the information. So for example there are commentaries on both "Daniel and Revelation" (e.g., a famous one by Walvoord), treating those two together because outside of Revelation, Daniel has the most information on the end times of any other book in the Bible besides Revelation. I've never seen Isaiah grouped with these two, however.

The major division is between the Old and New Testaments of course, because the Old Testament is written in Hebrew and was completed first (completed by ca. 400-500 B.C.); whereas the New Testament is written in Greek and was done entirely between ca. 50-100 A.D. Both have some verses written in Aramaic (but that is a very small percentage of each).

Within each testament there are other divisions which are likewise traditional but not universally accepted. To start with the New Testament, we have the four gospels (of which the first three are often grouped together under the title "the synoptics" since they share a general picture more in common with each other than with the gospel of John); Acts is usually kept in its own category (although in the early days of the church it was often associated and organized with the epistles of Paul); then come the Pauline epistles, followed by the "general epistles" (Hebrews is alternative grouped with one or the other depending on whom it is believed wrote it, namely, Paul or someone else); then come the Johanine epistles; Revelation is sometimes grouped with these (same author) or set to stand alone (different subject matter).

In terms of the Old Testament, the traditional Jewish order puts the Pentateuch or "The Law" first (i.e., the first five books of the Bible also in our English tradition), followed by "the major prophets" (these contain the same prophetic books and in the same order as in our English Bible, but starting with Joshua, the book of Kings and then continuing with Isaiah; however, in the Hebrew Bible Daniel is not part of this set nor is the book of Lamentations); these are followed in the Hebrew order by the minor prophets which are the same and in the same order as the last twelve books of the Old Testament in our English Bible; then come "the writings" which include everything else. This last group is parceled out throughout the English Bible with only some small sense of grouping. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon are together in our tradition and are often called "wisdom books".

One could put Joshua, Kings and Chronicles into a "historical books" category, but that sort of organization demonstrates the ultimate futility of worrying too much about this sort of thing. There is a good deal of overlap in all of the books in terms of content, so as to make any sort of organization which would allow us to deduce anything about the books on account of said organization a very dangerous proposition. So it's best to accept the organization we have at present, in my view, and concentrate on the content – which is what this ministry, Ichthys, is all about.

By the way, you can find out a good deal more about this and related subjects at the link in Bibliology: the study of the Bible (Basics part 7).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

My wife and I are studying the book of Proverbs and in this morning session we found something odd for this subject verse. The Last part of the verse is missing in most of the translations that I have which are 24 available online. The German Bible is Luther's translation of the Septuagint which has the following part that the Septuagint also has.

"*Proverbs 11:16 Septuagint translation.
“16 A gracious wife brings glory to her husband: but a woman hating righteousness is a theme of dishonour. The slothful come to want: but the diligent support themselves with wealth.”

This is what Luther's translation says:
“Eine holdselige Frau erlangt Ehre; aber eine Schande ist eine Frau, die Redlichket Hasst. Den Faulen wird es mangeln an Hab und Gut, die Fleissigen aber erlangen Reichtum”.

There is only one translation that comes close to the Septuagint:

*The New Heart English Bible.
“16A gracious woman obtains honor, but she who hates virtue makes a throne for dishonor. The slothful become destitute, and ruthless men grab wealth.”

Luther's translation does mimic the Septuagint. The New Heart English Bible mistranslates the last phrase of the Septuagint. I am wondering why the difference, and which is the correct translation from the Hebrew.

Appreciate your help. I know it's just a trivial matter, or is it? Hope you are doing well and are healthy.

Blessings always,

Your friend,

Response #21:

The LXX often goes it's own way, especially in passages that are difficult to understand. This one too, Proverbs 11:16, can be misunderstood. Proverbs makes use of Hebrew "sense rhyme", and with that in mind the parallel does work. The sense is that a good woman "grasps after" things of good repute, but ruthless individuals "grasp after" only wealth (irrespective of whether or not there is anything honorable involved).

Where the LXX got the extra stuff is unclear (that is often the case), but it's not part of scripture (the main point). Glosses are always a good bet. Here is seems that the translator or whoever is guilty of expanding A of AB to AB+B (which doesn't work at all in this poetic format), seems to have felt that he needed to contrast the good woman with a bad one. Once that was done, the original "B" element didn't work, so that was altered too by adding an additional part to now contrast the otherwise orphaned original "B" – resulting in the LXX having Ab Ba for the original AB of the MT. I'll give you my semi-literal translation of the LXX, and I think you'll be able to see that both Luther and the NHEB are relying on the same text, merely having a different go at the gibberish individually:

A gracious woman raises up glory for her husband, but a woman who hates righteous things is "a throne of dishonor"; sluggish men come to lack wealth, but courageous men rely on (or are lifted up by) wealth.
Proverbs 11:16 LXX

I've never gotten much out of the LXX, even though I had several classes on it in seminary.

In Jesus our Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Hi Bob,

Why does Unger seem to think Song of Songs refers to the Jewish remnant of the Trib as to the main interpretation of the book in association with the Shulamite? Is this because of his false pre trib rapture views?

In Jesus

Response #22:

I can't speak for Unger. All I can say is that when people get too deep into allegory and symbolism and try to be too specific about what it means (without justification), there is no telling what strange things they come up with. That is the story of the church fathers in the centuries after Constantine in a nutshell.

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #23:

Hi Bob,

Are allegory and symbolism synonyms for the word parable? So in essence the Song of Solomon is a parable?

Do you recommend systematically reading a Bible dictionary such as Unger's or simply consulting it here and there?

In our Lord and Savior

Response #23:

These terms are all roughly synonymous and the differences between them mostly has to do with length. A parable is a complete story which is allegoric and symbolic. An allegory may only be an illustration. And a symbol can be a single word or phrase. However, we do use the last two and their adjectives in regard to larger pieces as in "The Song of Solomon is an allegory" or "The Song of Solomon is symbolic"; what we mean by that has to then be explained.

I suppose there is some value in reading through reference works, but I've never seen it as very efficient. What if what you really need to know starts with the letter "T"? It'll be a long time until you get to that – unless you look it up when you need to know it. There's nothing wrong with that – that's why they list their articles in alphabetical order, after all.

In Jesus our Lord.

Bob L.


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